Interview with Mr Jeff franchisee, Álvaro Torres
The representative of the Mr Jeff Bolívar laundry, located in the Pueblo Libre district, in the city of Lima, tells us his story.
Álvaro Torres has always been an entrepreneur. Since a young age, in addition to his job as a salesclerk, Alvaro has been committed to running his own business at the same time. In 2019 he had capital to undertake until he decided to invest in Mr Jeff. Do you want to know his story?
Today, he represents Mr Jeff Bolivar Laundry, located in the district of Pueblo Libre, in the city of Lima (Peru) and his business vision is to become a key point of reference in the city.The vision I would like to achieve and how I see myself in two or three years is the one we had from the beginning: to become the Jeff point of reference at a national level.
How did you hear about Mr Jeff and what was your first impression?
I saw Mr Jeff's advertising through Facebook and Instagram. I got curious and started to find out more about the business model. What ended up convincing me was a co-worker also mentioning the brand: she was using it as a customer.I found that very appealing for two main reasons.First, because it’s a service that will definitely not stop being useful. Laundries will exist as long as there are human beings who wear clothes and want to wash them. And the second thing was the use of the app. The ease of being able to order a day-to-day domestic service from your cell phone, right in the palm of your hand.
What motivated you to start and open your business?
I really like dependent work. I like working in a company, learning, contributing... But I have also always had an entrepreneurial streak with small projects. I never stopped working, I always had to be doing some side project. It’s been a little difficult for me to dedicate myself to this. But since I had a transition in November 2019 and a small capital that I was looking to invest, I started looking for options and well, that's how I found this opportunity.
What value do you think technology brings to a laundry business like Mr Jeff?
I believe that the value that technology can bring to a domestic business is precisely that it facilitates the scheduling of chores.We all work and have, in addition to our work activities, hobbies that contribute to our wellbeing. This leaves less time to devote to household chores.When it comes to laundry, I feel like by the time I take the basket of clothes, separate them by color, and program the washing machine, it's been at least 30 minutes. Then add to that the time that you have to wait for it. If we cover the cost, it’s more profitable to dedicate your time to something else. What you will invest in using an application like the one we have at Mr Jeff, which picks up your clothes, washes them and returns them to you ready to wear, is unparalleled.I believe the model supports this simple cost analysis.
From an entrepreneur's point of view, what advantage do you see in technology when it comes to managing the business?
As an entrepreneur, the application is ideal for me. Also, due to my daily life, it's the right business model. It allows me to stay connected to the business at all times. I can see the revenue, the orders, if a customer complained or they gave me a positive comment... And I can be here or I can be in Mexico on a business trip.With Mr Jeff's technology I have all the indicators and dashboards I need. I feel that we still need to take more advantage of it because there are many records to be made, a lot of information from which we can benefit.I think technology is key in that sense. Being able to be aware of a business without having to be on the premises.
From the different tools that Jeff made available to you, which one did you value the most?
The technology Jeff uses captivated me from the start. For example, I think it's great to be able to have training videos on Jeff Suite. That’s how we train the newcomers on the team. I'm also going over them because I like it. Apart from learning everything I need to know about the business, I can learn about the problems that may arise, so I can help find a solution.I feel like it’s a very user-friendly, complete tool. I didn't really need the company's help. Everything was right there. Downloading the graphics, all the typography, all the brand designs and then sending them to the suppliers I ended up working with. It was very simple.
What do you think about Jeff Academy, Jeff Cloud, Chatbot or Google My Business? Which of these tools do you like best?
At that time, Jeff Academy worked very well for me. If I had to be in charge of the business, I could only do it because I know how it works. I learned that at Jeff Academy. However, what I use now are mainly the management tools. For me the daily routine is to see how we're doing with the numbers: how many sales are being created, how many orders we’re processing per day, why we don't process the same amount every day... All these metrics are very useful to me. A lot of times I'm working, and I send a screenshot to the team to tell them we're down, we're doing well, or we're reaching the target. I’m always sending them that information and feedback. Because they obviously aren't looking at all that information on a daily basis while they're working.
What would you say has helped your business do well?
We believe that one of the important actions we've taken is that we don't simply wait for Jeff to do everything to promote the business. I think it has to be a shared effort, and I would say it's 80% / 20%. The Jeff brand makes up 20%, and the other 80%, we have to do through our services and being aware of our customers' behavior. We're the ones in the store, and we're the ones who identify the opportunities and risks. I think that this idea of having a structure of how things should work and how we should deal with them is important. But most importantly, know that you're the manager that's responsible for the success or failure of what you're doing. Besides the fact that you have brand support, technological support, resources and everything we have with Jeff. So I think it's important to know that it's not like we have invested in a franchise, and we should expect everything to fall into place. There is a lot of work to be done, and I think the work is both intellectual and strategic.
What would you recommend to other Mr Jeff entrepreneurs?
First of all, be patient: it’s important not to get discouraged. I think you have to understand that everything has a learning curve, everything has a process, and being aware of that will reduce your anxiety. Many times people are anxious and want their business to boom in three months and become rich in six. My recommendation is to take it seriously, this is a lot of work, a lot of thinking in particular.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Especially when you think about your Mr Jeff business
The dream I'd like to achieve and how I see myself in two or three years is the one we had from the beginning: to become the exemplary Jeff store at the national level.Our bet on this location, which doubles or even triples the minimum that Jeff asks for to start, both in terms of area and cost, was because we wanted this to be a centralized store within the franchise. Eventually, we want to put corners in other places that simply take the garments and then move them to this store. We also want to continue growing the store and the corners. This is the dream we had in the beginning, and it's the dream we're on track to achieve.